JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The National Housing Trust (NHT) has its sights on retaining the Best Customer Service Entity trophy in the 2014/15 Public Sector Customer Service Competition.
  • The agency copped the top title at the last two competitions held in 2010/2011 and 2012/2013, walking away with the Prime Minister’s Trophy and attractive prizes.
  • Customer Care Manager at the NHT, Donnetta Russell, said the NHT has implemented a number of initiatives over the last two years, in an effort to offer a higher standard of service to its customers, and to keep its hold on the coveted title.

The National Housing Trust (NHT) has its sights on retaining the Best Customer Service Entity trophy in the 2014/15 Public Sector Customer Service Competition.

The agency copped the top title at the last two competitions held in 2010/2011 and 2012/2013, walking away with the Prime Minister’s Trophy and attractive prizes.

In 2010/2011, the agency dominated the individual awards categories, with Compliance Clerk in the Clarendon Branch Office, Dennis Simpson, winning the title of Best Public Sector Customer Service Officer.

Customer Care Manager at the NHT, Donnetta Russell, said the NHT has implemented a number of initiatives over the last two years, in an effort to offer a higher standard of service to its customers, and to keep its hold on the coveted title.

Among the new initiatives, she said, is the introduction of a mobile unit to serve customers in rural Jamaica.

“We recognised that our contributors are all over the island and in some very rural areas, and so our customers don’t have to come to us. We go out to them,” she said.

Miss Russell, who was speaking on the JIS’ Issues and Answers television programme recently, said that the entity also enhanced its complaints management system after a review process.

“That was from the recognition that we may not always get it right, so we looked at the way we served our customers and we did some improvements to our overall complaints management system,” she explained.

“So, if we are serving you and we have not gotten it right, our posture is, let’s see how we can make it better for you,” she noted further.

Miss Russell said the agency is always exploring ways of using technology to make its processes simpler and “the ease with which our customers can access our services.”

As such, she said, an online process was launched to select applicants for NHT housing units. “An application is made online and within seven days, we are able to tell persons, who have been selected for units. We are moving from a six-week manual process to seven days,” she noted.

In addition, she said, the agency offers mortgagors the option of receiving their mortgage statements by email. “We use to print mortgage statements annually. Now, we are saying to our mortgagors, you don’t have to wait a whole year to get your mortgage statements, you can just give us a call and we will email the statement to you,” she pointed out.

The Customer Care Manager also mentioned changes to the NHT’s Contribution Refunds application process, which was refined to make it simpler, based on customers’ feedback.

She noted that staff members, including top management, are exposed to a customised training programme every two years, and this also is based on response from members of the public in the agency’s annual customer service survey.

“Every single member of the NHT (benefits), including those in St. Thomas or as far away as Westmoreland. We know that there is one performance indicator that ties all of us together and that’s the extent to which we satisfy our customers,” Miss Russell said.

Modernisation Specialist in the Public Sector Modernisation and Transformation Unit, Office of the Cabinet, Michelle Gordon Somers, said the biennial competition aims to recognise those entities that are “working hard to please their customers.”

“We wanted to allow members of the public to recognise these organisations where they were experiencing service excellence, she said.

Nominations are now open for entries to the competition, and the deadline for the receipt of all submissions is March 31.

Customers can vote by filling out forms and placing them in nomination boxes at the various entities, by using the toll-free line 1-888-991-2752 or voting online at www.cabinet.gov.jm.

 

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